But human flesh was too frail, too paltry to hold the terrific essence that was Khosatral Khel. So he stood up in the shape and aspect of a man, but his flesh was not flesh; nor the bone, bone; nor blood, blood. He became a blasphemy against all nature, for he caused to live and think and act a basic substance that before had never known the pulse and stir of animate being.
It looks human, but it's utterly beyond human understanding. Every once in a while, dark things from beyond the fringes of mankind's consciousness will show up in forms that for all intents and purposes look like good old H. sapiens
. In a few cases they actually were human until they went beyond the pale
, but most likely, what you're seeing is actually a disguise or misperception for something you're really better off not seeing
, or even the progeny
of something even worse
Though its appearance is sometimes passable as human, it is still clearly... not quite. Even those that are very clever in human terms will have difficulty not setting off instinctive alarms in the human subconscious
. Less subtle abominations will do their job too well and seem impossibly beautiful
, while the even less subtle will distort their human form with twisted limbs or malformed features or other such monstrosities.
Despite its appearance, they will very likely also not think in terms human reason can readily grasp, and will often lack anything resembling a recognizable or conventional moral code.
At best, they will be comparable to The Fair Folk
. Nor will they conform to the expected laws of nature - or magic, in such settings - so expect Lovecraftian Superpowers
and other unspeakable traits.
Subtrope of Eldritch Abomination
, and sister trope of Animalistic Abomination
. Compare and contrast Monstrous Humanoid
. Not to be confused with Humans Are Cthulhu
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Anime and Manga
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
- In episode 12 Madoka rewrites the universe and inserts herself as a fundamental force that sees and rules over everything, The Law of Cycles saving all Magical Girls from despair, but aside from Supernatural Gold Eyes and Rapunzel Hair she looks the same as she did before.
- Played with in Puella Magi Kazumi Magica, where the main character is a witch that's been returned to humanoid form. Though she's friendly and even cute for most of the series, as she discovers more about her origins, she starts to fall back into old habits.
- The ending of Rebellion has Homulily transform into Akuma Homura, who usurps Madoka and performs her own cosmic rewrite, trapping everyone in a Gilded Cage universe of her own creation, but again aside from an Evil Costume Switch, black feathery wings, and Eye Colour Change (and terrifying Slasher Smiles) she still looks normal.
- In Hellsing, Alucard looks like just an "ordinary" vampire. It turns out he's actually something far, far more horrific, being at the very least a Hive Mind of millions of undead souls, all slaved to a single once-human mind. He freely shifts through the most horrific forms at will, with his "true form" being essentially a city-swallowing ocean of blood with wailing human and animal corpses rising half-formed from its depths and potentially becoming an independent army. In the finale he goes even further, killing off his undead army to become a walking, talking quantum anomaly.
- Naruto has Kaguya Ōtsutsuki, the mother of the legendary Sage of Six Paths. Where she came from and whether she was human to begin with is unknown, but she had horns, the Byakugan, a Third Eye combining the Rinnegan and Sharingan, and more chakra than the Ten-Tails itself. When she was alive she was both worshipped as a goddess and feared as a demon, and her means of bringing "peace" to the world involved using the Infinite Tsukuyomi on people and then turning them into Zetsus. When she saw her sons had inherited her power and were teaching others to use it, she transformed into said Eldritch Abomination to get it back.
- Sailor Moon:
- In the manga, the final form of Chaos that destroys the galaxy in the far future...is a Senshi: Sailor Chaos;
- Once Fridge Logic sets in, the Sailor Senshi themselves qualify. After all, they do have power in his league, at least in the manga;
- In both anime and manga, Death Phantom and Queen Nehellenia, thanks to their immense power. Double points in the manga, as they're actually avatars of Chaos;
- In the anime, Beryl once she fuses with Queen Metallia.
- Pandora Hearts has entities called Chains, which can form contracts with humans and will eventually consume them. They run the gamut from this trope to Animalistic Abomination to all-out Eldritch Abomination, and many of them used to be humans and animals that fell into the Abyss.
- Dragon Ball Z: In a long list of over-powered heroes and villains, Majin Buu is a incalculably ancient entity of destruction that eats the populations of whole cities, casually explodes planets, and tears down dimensions by shouting, shaped like a pint-sized human with bubblegum-pink skin and a tentacle growing out of his head. He can become even more powerful (and conversely, weaker) by assimilating others, gaining their powers and personalities.
- Doctor Manhattan of Watchmen fame shows signs of becoming this throughout the story due to his growing detachment from, well, everything. He ultimately embraces humanity, sort of, but not his own. At best you could say he recognizes the value of humanity. What he actually does is to go off to a galaxy far, far away to play God.
- Starman: The Shade looks and acts human enough (though some artists do portray him with a certain pallor), but his powers are taken straight from the fabric of a dimension holding a godlike Eldritch Abomination and have essentially become one with him, making him ageless and virtually unkillable, not to mention terrifyingly powerful. Thankfully for us, he's generally a fairly nice guy (not a hero by any means, but definitely not an outright villain either) and is perfectly willing to leave you be... that is, unless you attempt to attack Opal City. In that case, all bets are off.
- Golden Age public domain superhero Stardust The Super Wizard is an unintentional one. Imagine a character with the reality-warping power of Dr. Manhattan as mentioned above combined with the black and white worldview and the "creative" mind of his "colleague" Rorschach and you have Stardust.
- Mad Jim Jaspers of Captain Britain crosses into this realm thanks to his abilities being strong enough to make him nigh-omnipotent, with it being heavily implied that he exists partially in a metaphysical realm, as well. He's so powerful that his entire continuity had to be destroyed to prevent it from becoming infectious and warping reality in other continuities. Earth-616 also has Jaspers, and he's even more powerful. It took the Fury, an invincible, infinitely adaptable killing machine that the original Jaspers created and that escaped from the destroyed continuity, to bring the 616 Jaspers down. It transported him to a reality-free area to deprive him of fuel for his abilities. The resulting toll on the Fury was so great that it was put down without much difficulty by Captain UK.
- Galactus looks like a big man with a Nice Hat. In reality, he's a Cosmic Entity that devours entire worlds, who happens to be the reincarnation of the survivor of the previous universe. He only looks human because it's how people see him.
- His brethren: while they look humanoid, they're embodiments of the most fundamental forces of reality and most of them look pretty strange. Eternity looks like a robed man version of the entire universe, Infinity is a female figure with yellow-black skin and lines across her body and while Oblivion may look relatively normal he's the Cosmic Entity in charge of that which has been wiped out of existence. Thankfully, they almost never interfere.
- Abraxas looks like a human with green skin who wears a toga, and he makes Galactus seem positively cuddly in comparison. Indeed, one of the reasons Galactus even exists is to keep Abraxas in check. Abraxas is the opposite of Eternity, making Abraxas the ultimate embodiment of unfettered destruction in the Marvel multiverse. Abraxas is fully willing and capable of killing entire universes, and the only way to get rid of him other than by reviving Galactus is to destroy all reality.
- Several of the enemies of Doctor Strange, the most notable ones being Dread Dormammu, who looks like a humanoid with constantly burning head, and his sister, Umar the Unrelenting, who looks like a beautiful human woman. They are actually Faltine, a race of pure energy beings, and have power to rival Abstracts. Umar's daughter, Clea, is half-Faltine, yet looks like a human woman, only with unusually white hair. Strange also faces various gods, like Cthon (who looks like a hideous old man) and Demon Lords and Archdevils, like Mephisto (who looks like a human with unnaturally red skin).
- Xadhoom from Paperinik New Adventures seems to be just a Flying Brick among many examples. However, she is also functionally a sun in humanoid form, and even that is without factoring in: (A) Her appearance (alien to both humans and Xerbians); (B) Her occasional displays of Lovecraftian Superpower shapeshifting; (C) And the fact that she inflicts what amounts to a Cosmic Horror Story on the Evronians through most of the first series.
- Psyko, the warped Evil Counterpart to Sleepwalker in Ultimate Sleepwalker, was originally human before he was exposed to a wave of perverted demonic energy from the Mindscape. It completely fried the brains of every other human in the area, but he simply absorbed it and turned into a humanoid... thing with bone-white skin, a skull-like face, bone-like spikes growing out of his body, insane glowing eyes, and teeth as long as a man's finger.
- Gravemoss, already an Ax-Crazy Really 700 Years Old Necromancer, in Child Of The Storm seems to be progressing from Evil Albino to this, something really not helped by the Artifact of Doom he's got hold of. And as one of his allies notes, there's something in his eyes...
- Yuuka Kazami in the Touhou fanfiction Imperfect Metamorphosis is horrifically powerful, inspires petrifying dread by her very presence, not even Yukari knows what the hell she is (and notes that her powers are disturbingly ineffective against her), and even with the Shadow Youkai running around and causing a mess of everything nearly everyone treats her as the bigger threat. Later events reveal she's actually an Outer God, straight out of Lovecraft.
- Joseph Regent, protagonist of Son Of The Warp, is more or less one of these, given that he's the half-human son of Tzeentch.
- Naruto/Sunny in Dancing With Demons is either this or past the Bishounen Line depending on who's dealing with him. Most women and many children find his hair ornaments, flawless skin, and blonde hair "beautiful". Most ninja find his red eyes, unnatural stillness, and carnivorous diet (humans if he can manage it) highly disturbing.
- Played with relentlessly in Only Human, a Star Trek: The Next Generation AU where Q never regained his powers in "Deja Qu". Q makes a poor human and it becomes clear that Q's powers were simply advanced technology and his reasoning is comprehensible by humans if they know where he's coming from. Except Q is still an alien in human form and his prior existence is still so alien it is only expressible by analogy. His expectations and reactions don't make sense without that history.
- Whilst already strange to pony eyes, the human in Millennium has clearly stepped beyond the point of actual humanity, being a nightmarish force instead.
- Played for Laughs in G Man Meets The Mystery Man, which features a meeting between two creepy humanoid abominations from very different sources.
Films — Live-Action
- The Harvesters in The Deaths of Ian Stone are an odd case. They're essentially the gods of their setting, and it's stated they made The Multiverse just to farm humans for their tasty, tasty fear. Their power over their surroundings is difficult to overstate, and their natures seem incomprehensible to humans—but their motivations are instantly recognizable to any junkie, and they can be as petty and flawed as any human. Two of them prove they can be as noble, too, and even as loving.
- The "Mystery Man" in Lost Highway, while his true morals or intention is open to interpretation, can certainly come off as this to a first time viewer. The extensive make-up that covers his eyebrows and makes him inhumanly pale and the camera's tendency to get uncomfortably close to his face during his scenes certainly doesn't help.
- From the Phantasm franchise, The Tall Man is perhaps one of the best known examples of this on film. He looks like an old man in a suit, albeit an intimidating one, but is really implied to be some horrible otherdimensional conciousness wearing the form of a man named Jebadaiah Morningstar like a meat suit. He bleeds a yellowish fluid when injured and his fingers have been known to turn into hideous bug-things when severed. He is hideously strong, controls an army of deadly silver spheres, and even has some Reality Warper powers. He has a nasty agenda that involves killing people and turning them into twisted dwarfish slaves to use in another dimension.
- Satan in motion pictures will often take the form of a man (or, more rarely, a woman), only to eventually reveal himself as something either grotesque or freakishly primeval.
- Similarly, Death in motion pictures.
- Dr. Pretorius in Stuart Gordon's From Beyond. It's pretty clear when we see him after his first "death" that the only things still remotely human about him are his sexual deviancy and his face.
- The title character of Lucy starts out completely human but is injected with a Fantastic Drug that lets her access 100% of her brain capacity. First she starts off as an emotionless Action Girl Badass. However, as she accesses more of her brain capacity she becomes incredibly powerful and gradually enters Reality Warper status. By the end, she's an amoral god-like entity of unfathomable power, and finally she leaves her human form behind to become a Yog-Sothoth Expy by entwining herself with the very fabric of existence.
- While most of the Darklords of Helgedad in Lone Wolf have humanoid proportions, Darklord Haakon is the best example. The Legends of Lone Wolf novel Claws of Helgedad reveals that Haakon has the face of a young human man. He also has unnaturally long skinny fingers and a powerfully muscled physique. A physique that is very easy to see since he has translucent skin from the neck down. Despite the physical similarities to humans, Haakon is an embodiment of pure evil just like the other Darklords.
- Cthulhu Mythos:
- Helen Vaughan from Arthur Machen's The Great God Pan was the inspiration for Lovecraft's Wilbur Whateley and may well have been the first Humanoid Abomination in modern literature. She is the daughter of an Eldritch Abomination who seduces men into partaking of her unknown horrors, driving them to madness and suicide.
"Everyone who saw her at the police court said she was at once the most beautiful woman and the most repulsive they had ever set eyes on. I have spoken to a man who saw her, and I assure you he positively shuddered as he tried to describe the woman, but he couldn't tell why."
- Modern Cthulhu Mythos author WH Pugmire has dedicated many stories to Nyarlathotep. His own original creation is Selene, who is related to Nyarlathotep and appears as a woman with near-black skin and flowing red hair. She's closer to the Fair Folk in her portrayal but eventually departs to sit with her "Elder Sibling beside the entropic throne of Ultimate Disorder."
- Star Wars Expanded Universe:
- Thousands of years before the classic saga, there was the Sith Emperor, introduced in Revan and the Big Bad of Star Wars: The Old Republic. He attained immortality through a ritual that drained life essences on an even larger scale than Palpatine later pulled off, draining every last bit of life on an entire planet to the point that The Force itself ceased to exist within the planet's atmosphere. Though his body's shape was still humanoid afterward, nothing else about him was. Even other Sith Lords, who by their nature see no problem with mass murder, were horrified when they learned about how he became immortal. And his intention was to go even further, because his immortality wasn't perfect enough. He was immune to natural death, but could still theoretically be killed by violence. So his plan was to create a larger-scale version of the original ritual that would drain the life of everything in the universe, which would have effectively resulted in him becoming the Force.
- Fate of the Jedi has Abeloth, a former human woman who more than a hundred thousand years before the movies ended up on a planet occupied by the immortal Ones, the Father, the Son, and the Daughter. She became the Servant, but was then accepted as the Mother because she was able to control the rivalry between the Son, who represented the Dark Side, and the Daughter, who represented the Light Side. She was still mortal though, and as she aged her ability to control the Son and Daughter's rivalry diminished and she feared the loss of her family, so she tried to obtain immortality by drinking from the Font of Power as the son had and bathing in the Pool of Knowledge as the daughter had. She achieved her goal of near-immortality, but because she was a mortal and not a divine being like the ones, her body and mind became twisted beyond recognition. The Father built the Maw Installation to imprison the Mother on that planet, and she was soon became the Dark Side entity known as Abeloth. She possessed Dark Side abilities that no others possessed, inflicting paranoia on Force-sensitives and drawing them to her, who would drain then their life energy and consume them. She would then create avatars of them, which she would use to disguise herself and hide her true hideous appearance.
- Angels in His Dark Materials, which are near-Energy Beings that look like architecture but that humans see as Winged Humanoid in shape.
- In The Light Fantastic, everyone expects the Things From The Dungeon Dimensions to come storming into our reality with tentacles waving, but all they need is one mind. And when Rincewind looks into Trymon's eyes, it's every bit as horrific as anything involving tentacles and Alien Geometries.
- I Shall Wear Midnight introduces the Cunning Man, the shade of a fanatic witch-hunter who was so obsessed he went on even after eventually having no body. He appears as a man in black with empty holes for eyes (no, not empty eye sockets, HOLES, you can see through them) and Invisible to Normals; to those who can perceive it, he also appears to exude a terrible stench, though rather than an actual physical stench this is their mind's perception of the corruption in his. He can use mirrors, pictures and the like to enter the world, and can possess the bodies of others. To hammer home how utterly wrong he is, it should be noted that, in Discworld, the eyes always show a person's true nature. Even the gods can change anything about their appearance except their eyes. Now the Cunning Man has nothing there, as in seeing into the front and out the back of his head.
- Stephen King:
- Randall Flagg, especially in The Stand, and to a lesser extent in the other books where he is the Big Bad or The Dragon. In The Stand one character claims that Flagg is actually Legion, the Biblical demon horde that Jesus cast into a herd of pigs, and Flagg claims to be Nyarlathotep himself.
- The Crimson King ends up looking almost like a human too when he's finally encountered in the end. Well, it's no worse a form than the big fish.
- The favourite form of the eponymous Eldritch Abomination in It is a Monster Clown called Pennywise the Dancing Clown.
- The Beast, AKA Martin Chatwin from The Magicians is mistaken for an Eldritch Abomination at first, but during the climactic battle, his Evil Gloating reveals that, as a boy, he escaped into the fringes of the Fillory world and accepted the darker magic of its inhabitants wholeheartedly, transforming him into a god-level power. The result is not pretty◊
- The Clockmaker, from Alastair Reynolds' The Prefect. Can assume any shape, but its default form resembles a stretched out human form, spindly and quicksilver. Enjoys wanton slaughter and leaving intricately designed clocks and trinkets around... which may or may not be Body Horror-inducing booby traps.
- Angleton, AKA the Eater of Souls in Charles Stross' The Laundry Series is eventually revealed to be this. Subverted in that he's undeniably one of the good guys, even if he lives in the Uncanny Valley and therefore frightens the hell out of his subordinates. What happened was that he was summoned and bound in the 1930s, taught to pass for human, and eventually Humanity Ensues. Strangely, it's implied that he believes in decency and fairness more than the people around him—he's not averse to pulling a few strings for Bob and Mo's sake.
- All over the place in The Dresden Files. There's the two Faerie Queens, Mab and Titania, who are unfathomable even by fae standards and the Lords of the Outer Night in the Red Court. Then there are the Faerie "mothers", who are an order of magnitude more powerful than the queens. Some Outsiders can also take humanoid form, such as "Sharkface" in Cold Days.
- The Wheel of Time:
- Comparatively minor examples, the Myrddraal are born among the Trollocs, a throwback to the Trollocs' human heritage, but warped by the Black Magic that created them. They resemble eerily pale, graceful humans except that they have smooth skin where eyes should be and have a number of bizarre abilities that cannot be explained by the series' main magic system. They're also absolutely devoid of emotion except for cold-blooded sadism and are all completely identical in terms of appearance and personality. Even human villains who encounter them are prone to remark on how unnatural they are.
- Shaidar Haran, a Myrddraal that acts as the Dark One's avatar, and later an incubator of sorts.
- Padan Fain, who starts out as human, but through a convoluted series of misfortunes, becomes the living embodiment of another evil power, possibly as bad as the Dark One.
- Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar from Neverwhere. They look human but they're impossibly strong, able to move faster than the human eye can perceive, don't bleed when you cut them, have Extreme Omnivore tendencies, which extends to humans, have been alive for centuries, and are pure evil. Door even lampshades this trope when Richard calls them men.
"I suppose you could call them men, yes. Two legs, two arms, a head each."
- The Endlords from Sword of Shadows look like tall humans in dark armor, but it's made quite plain that they are in fact cosmic forces of destruction which have been compressed into this shape, and are utterly inimical to life as we know it.
- In Those That Wake, Man in Suit is a humanoid man in a suit who's so blank his features are impossible to describe, and his influence can cause you to kill yourself or try to kill those around you. This is because he's the living idea of hopelessness.
- In Blood Meridian the Judge is implied to be more than he seems, but exactly what is something Man Was Not Meant To Know. He never sleeps, he never ages, he proclaims war itself to be God, he wants nothing less than absolute power over the Earth and all life upon it, and upon finding him waiting for them in the desert, every member of the Glanton gang believes they have met him before.
- Iruoch in the second novel of the Widdershins Adventures trilogy is an evil faerie who has a base resemblance to a man - although it's repeatedly emphasized how creepy and unnatural he looks - has a taste for human children, eight unnaturally long spider-like fingers that he can use to lift himself up and walk on, and a physics-defying hat and coat. He's also accompanied by an invisible chorus of ghostly children.
- Anthony Fremont in It's a Good Life. While his appearance isn't fully described, he has Purple Eyes, is sometimes described as a goblin, has an "odd shadow," and was strange-looking enough that the obstetrician who delivered him freaked out and tried to kill him. There's also the matter of his Reality Warper abilities, which allow him to do essentially anything he likes. Despite this, his mind is the same as that of any other three-year-old. That's hardly any comfort to the residents of his home town of Peaksville, who are forced to pretend that everything is good lest they be turned into something horrible and sent to the cornfield.
- A Song of Ice and Fire:
- The Others, although it's a bit hard to tell what their deal actually is, as they can also cross into The Fair Folk, An Ice Person and Necromancer territories depending on what angle you're looking at them from. Their looks are humanoid, but you'd never mistake them for human, except from a distance.
- The Children of the Forest might be more benign (we think) and the classically small-style elfin to look at, especially given their links with trees and the natural world. But, they're as much like The Fair Folk as the Others are, if less overtly Dark Powers-y. Given their link to possible blood-sacrifice in the past and their decidedly non-human points of view and, well... Don't get too comfy.
- Melisandre looks human enough and claims to have been an ordinary woman before becoming a priestess of R'hllor. There's still something off about her that unnerves most people. She's also The Needless and wields truly disturbing Blood Magic.
- The Stranger of the Seven. The rest of the Seven are fairly typical human-based archetypes, so are pretty "normal". For gods. Then this one pitches up: hooded-and-cloaked with an indistinct face that might or might not be a mask and generally... odd. Unsexed (although generally referred to as "he"), possibly a skeleton or something only vaguely human, regarded as The Voiceless, without a verse in a song about the Seven: there's a lot off about "him".
- Good Omens:
- The Four Horse- er, Four Bikers of the Apocalypse are not so much Reality Warpers as reality hurriedly gets out of their way. Violence spontaneously breaks out around War, things waste away in Famine's presence, people included, and Pollution is so toxic a supernatural crown is tarnished black the instant he touches it. They're described as Anthropomorphic Personifications that are always in the minds of humans, and as the apocalypse draws near their nature pushes through to the point that they develop "ill-fitting bodies" (Pollution oozes, and War has a voice like a machine gun). DEATH, meanwhile, simply is, and always has been, "created to be creation's shadow".
"When did you get here?"
I NEVER WENT AWAY
- The Antichrist a.k.a. The Adversary, Destroyer of Kings, Angel of the Bottomless Pit, Great Beast that is called Dragon, Prince of This World, Father of Lies, Spawn of Satan, and Lord of Darkness a.k.a. Adam Young, an eleven-year old child with power such that he makes angels, demons, even the Four look like incompetent children. He unconsciously, drastically alters the world even before realising what he is, and forces the assembled hordes of heaven and hell to simply go home. After all, anything with the power to start the apocalypse by necessity has the power to stop it.
- The Zombie Knight has Aberrations, which are created by removing the soul of an unborn childnote and replacing it with that of a reaper. The result can wield solid shadows, Body Surf, use one secondary power, and become stronger by consuming souls, which they do by killing people with that secondary ability. All of them are very bloodthirsty; as Roman puts it, they're always looking for entertainment, and are most entertained by killing people.
- Illyria's original form was a massive tentacled creature; she's an Old One, a shout-out to the Cthulhu Mythos. But since she's stolen Winifred Burkle's body, we mostly see her looking like a blue version of her.
- Jasmine. The most we could get from her true form was a shadowed mass of tentacles, and she's mentioned by her abandoned demon followers as the "Blessed Devourer." Those who are immune to her mind-control charms don't see her as a beautiful woman but a corpse filled with maggots, and her true name cannot be pronounced by human words (Angel needed a stitched up demon follower because it was the only thing capable of saying her name and breaking the spell).
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer had one of these as its Season Five Big Bad. Glorificus, aka Glory, was an exiled hellgod that was reduced to using a hapless human host as a timeshare. Whenever Glory takes control of its (male) host, it looks like a glamorous woman. Even in this form Glory is a Nigh Invulnerable superstrong menace that can rob people of their sanity and eat it.
- Doctor Who:
- The Time Lords at the end of the Second War in Heaven and the Last Great Time War have continued to regenerate into forms that are ideal for waging chronological war - in the first case, war against what can only be approximately described as a sapient timeline. Guess what this implies for ordinary Time Lords?
- Some parts of the Doctor Who Expanded Universe (Dave Stone's books, specifically) suggest that the Doctor we know is a guise adopted by an Eldritch Abomination. Lawrence Miles' Faction Paradox series plays with this idea a lot, too.
- "The Pandorica Opens" has the thing the Pandorica was designed to hold: "A nameless, terrible thing, soaked in the blood of a billion galaxies. The most feared being in all the cosmos. And nothing could stop it, or hold it, or reason with it. One day it would just drop out of the sky and tear down your world." It's the Doctor.
- The Master, after he Came Back Wrong in "The End of Time," is essentially The Antichrist and his return is heralded by portentous psychic nightmares that afflict every human being on Earth.
- Also in the Expanded Universe, humanoid TARDISes... it's mentioned as being especially creepy when they open to take on passengers.
- The Celestial Toymaker, in the original series serial of the same name, resembles a middle-aged white man dressed in Mandarin robes who engages in silly, over-sized versions of board games and toys. He however controls his own universe and has vast powers over time and space. In one Expanded Universe novel, he is depicted more horribly and is outright stated to be using the powers of the Great Old Ones.
- The Moment is one of the more understated ones and yet probably the most powerful in the series. Never mind that it's a piece of mechanics complex enough to develop a consciousness, throughout its only appearance it repeatedly and calmly punches holes in the Time Lock around the Time War. This is the same barrier that's strong enough to (mostly) seamlessly contain the full might of the Daleks, Time Lords, and every other Eldritch Abomination they brought with them. For most of its appearance it takes the form of Rose Tyler. "No, hang on... Bad Wolf".
- Bad Wolf herself. After absorbing the heart of the TARDIS in "The Parting of the Ways" Rose saw everything, in all possible timelines, and possessed enough power to disintegrate an entire Dalek fleet with a thought. However it only lasted a few minutes, human bodies not capable of containing that amount of power, and the Doctor had to perform another Heroic Sacrifice to save her.
- The Fendahl in "Image of the Fendahl" is an ageless deathless Hive Mind that seeks to absorb all Life Energy in the universe, and is so terrifying even looking upon it causes its victims to be rendered immobile with fear. The Fendahl Core appears as a gold-skinned human woman.
- Sutekh, Fenric, the Beast, the creature on Midnight, and the Great Intelligence all manifested in human bodies (stolen human bodies) during their appearances. The Eternals also manifested in human bodies, but not in stolen ones.
- BOB from Twin Peaks is this—Humanoid on the outside, Abomination within.
- LOST gives us the Man in Black, a post-human entity who takes the appearance of deceased individuals when not being a cloud of black smoke.
- Played for Laughs with Kenneth in 30 Rock. Oddly, he combines this with being The Pollyanna. See his first words, said the day he was born.
Momma, I am not a person. My body's just a flesh vessel for an immortal being whose name, if you heard it, you would lose your mind.
- Angels' celestial forms are completely incomprehensible to humans, and variously described as "multi-dimensional wavelengths of celestial intent" and the size of the Chrysler building. Whenever they appear in their true forms, all that is seen is a blinding light that engulfs the entire area, a booming deafening sound that are apparently their voices, everything in the vicinity getting destroyed due to their awesome presence, and are so much of a Brown Note that any humans nearby have their eyes burn out of their sockets and die. To manifest on Earth they use human vessels, which are purely intended as A Form You Are Comfortable With.
- The Leviathans of Season 7 and a bit of Season 8 are called "The Old Ones", primordial creatures from the sea that became able to possess other creatures and survive on the land. Leviathans pre-date the creation of Humans, Angels, and even the soul itself. They also pre-date any being with a soul, such as almost all forms of monsters, including demons. The only being said to pre-date or to have come into creation alongside of them is Death himself. They were so powerful that God sealed them away in Purgatory, because he felt they threatened to consume the whole of creation. Ironically, according to Supernatural it was a benevolent Leviathan (rare as that is) who inspired the stories of H.P Lovecraft.
- The ITV horror series Sapphire And Steel has two Humanoid Abominations as the protagonists. They're entities somehow created to sort out temporal paradoxes and attempts by worse Eldritch Abominations to use them to invade the universe.
- In Luca Turilli's Prophet of the Last Eclipse this seems to be the case with those touched by the Black Portal. They appear perfectly human, but demons (which can literally never die and may very well be true abominations in their own right) are instinctively terrified of them. And spilling the blood of one can result in The End of the World as We Know It.
- Imaginos, the central figure of the Blue Oyster Cult album of the same name. Admittedly, prior to being 'recruited' by Les Invisibles he was more humanoid since he apparently thought of himself as human despite being a psychic shapeshifter, but afterwards he became more of a abomination and is downright gleeful about it.
- Marilyn Manson's concept album Antichrist Superstar has, well, the Antichrist Superstar, the reality-destroying result of The Worm becoming fed up with his sycophantic followers. While his appearance was unknown, the finished-but-unreleased video for Antichrist Superstar was leaked almost a decade later, which does show him in this form. If the Grim Reaper had sex with a fallen angel and they somehow had a kid, it would be an apt description.
Mythology and Religion
- The Grinning Man, the Moth Man, Springheeled Jack, the Cornish Owlman, La Llorona, Black-Eyed Kids; quite a lot of urban myths or cryptid sightings run on this trope. Many of these things might result from encounters with owls, specially barn owls, which they frequently resemble with the massive eyes and wing-like arms. Owls themselves, much like some other birds, do look vaguely humanoid, being erect bipeds, which is part of why they're frequently considered unnerving.
- Nyx, personification of Night from Classical Mythology. Usually represented as a beautiful female human, yet a quick look at her children - most of which she gave birth to by herself alone - should tell you what kind of being she really is. Even Zeus fears her.
- Cú Chulainn, the young hero of the Ulster Cycle of Celtic Mythology, particularly of the Táin Bó Cúailnge. Though he is portrayed as being as Bishōnen as a teenaged Irish ginger can be, he is a descendant of either the Tuatha Dé Danann Lugh or the Fomorians, a monstrous race from the mythic prehistory era of Ireland. Though he is heroic and stalwart, and generally perceived as a good guy, his defining mystical characteristic is his ability to transform into various disfigured superpowered abominations through the use of his warp-spasm. After he transforms, he becomes a berserker that slaughters anything in his path, friend and foe alike. Even out of his warp spasm, he is described in the Táin as having Multicolored Hair, four multicolored dimples in each cheek, seven pupils in each eye, and seven clawed fingers and toes on each hand/foot.
- Some of the angels in The Bible and The Qur'an. It is clear that some angels like Gabriel can appear as humanoid, but their real forms are at best highly confusing and at worst mind-numbingly horrifying. And only some bother to appear as humanoid anyway, as many don't even bother to disguise their real forms. Daniel saw an angel that was invisible to everyone else, carried with it an aura of fear, had a glowing face (like lightning) and eyes of flame, and a body carved from gemstones. The angel of the Lord itself is described as a man who was "terrifying to look at" by Samson's mother and when Samson's father asked its name he replied "You wouldn't understand if I told you." (despite this, apocryphal works call him Metatron which basically means "less than four the letter word" - Tetragrammaton, a title for God). Depending on how you translate the phrase "living creatures" in the Book of Ezekiel, it might imply that most angels aren't technically alive, and according to one interpretation a lot of the angels mentioned early on in the Bible (especially in B'reshit/Genesis) are in essence the will of God made manifest in temporary human form. So while they're described as men in the text, they really really aren't.
- Most if not all examples of The Fair Folk. To be expected, since "eldritch" originally meant "elven".
- Dungeons & Dragons:
- Atropals from Epic-level DnD, the stillborn fetuses of Gods, also capable of shedding smaller Atropal Scions. Unsurprisingly, they are as terrifying, powerful and hideous as the description suggests.
- Daelkyr from Eberron, high-level outsiders from the plane of madness. Notable in that they looked like this when they invaded the main continent ages prior, before humans had ever set foot there. When human explorers did arrive, later, they created a panic among the demihuman populace due to the resemblance. Keith Baker, creator of Eberron, was once asked why daelkyr looked so much like humans. His response was that the real question is why do humans look so much like daelkyr...
- The Lady of Pain from the Planescape setting. Beyond her vaguely humanoid appearance (a ten foot floating humanoid in a robe with no visible feet and a frozen female face surrounded by a crown of blades), nobody knows anything about what or who she is, save that anyone who disrupts Sigil's day-to-day life or directly interacts with her in any way tend to get Flayed Alive on the spot. Inside of Sigil she is essentially omnipotent and not even gods can set foot there if she doesn't want them there.
- New World of Darkness:
- Mage: The Awakening has "the Other," the Astral Aeon of the Abyss, who is said to look simply like an unassuming, shrunken, slightly odd old man, who nevertheless has something indescribably off with everything about him.
- Each of the True Fae from Changeling: The Lost has a humanoid Mask that they can wear when they appear on Earth. These masks can be beautiful or hideous, but usually within the realm of human expectation... except for the one element that's just wrong.
- When the Changelings' Wyrd stat (basic supernatural power) hits 6, they manifest a certain... oddity in their Mask, which humans rationalise away but are still capable of seeing. The latter may become the former, given enough Wyrd and not enough Clarity. Turning humans into changelings is how the True Fae reproduce. Have fun with your Doomed Protagonist.
- This is what most mages think of geniuses — bizarre cosmic intelligences of unknown motivation and origins who simply look human. In the case of the Illuminated, they may well be right. The "inverted Geniuses" known as Clockstoppers may also be examples — one of the most powerful is described as being more a force of nature than a man.
- The Old World of Darkness has the Onceborn of Wraith The Oblivion, effectively dead gods in service of the necrotic force known as Oblivion. Unlike their cohorts, the Neverborn, they were human at one point... but they were such bastards in life, they plummeted right into becoming Spectres upon death, and then ascended to the ranks of horrible divinity.
- The Yozis and their various souls can appear in any number of bizarre, logic-defying forms, including entire living worlds... or they can appear as inhumanly attractive humanoid beings with a few thematic characteristics here and there. They can also do both at the same time — all demons above the First Circle have the ability to manifest in multiple locations at once. The Primordials Gaia and Autochthon are just as eldritch, except they haven't been mutilated and imprisoned in Hell. Gaia's most familiar form is a beautiful humanoid goddess who hangs out in Heaven.
- The Fair Folk are even more monstrous and alien in this setting than is standard for that trope — they come from what is essentially an alien universe characterized by having no laws of physics, they have no actual personalities or motives, and they can only exist in Creation by eating human souls. Yet, as far as appearance goes, many of the Raksha nobles are inhuman only in their extreme beauty. It helps attract prey, you see.
- According to Word of Sol, the Green Sun Princes to a degree, having taken the Yozi nature into their once-human souls, and are gradually evolving into Yozi-like beings.
- In a way, all of the Exalted. Human beings were never meant to receive power in the manner of the Exalted, and elder Exalts tend to have viewpoints that are rather skewed for one reason or another. They can also be impossibly beautiful.
- Warhammer 40,000:
- The Immortal God Emperor of Mankind. Long ago, all of Earth's mages, psykers, and mystics decided that humanity needed a champion to lead them. They committed mass suicide and all of them were reincarnated as one being: the Emperor. Anyone who had the misfortune to make psychic contact with him and got a glimpse of what lay beneath the surface, such as John Grammaticus (a powerful psyker in his own right), would be left in a state of total awe and terror — mostly terror. After he was put on life support he spent ten thousand years receiving worship from untold quadrillions of humans across the galaxy — in a setting strongly influenced by Clap Your Hands If You Believe.
- Horus became one of these at the end of the Horus Heresy, with all four of the Chaos gods using him as a vessel of their power at once. The battle between him and the Emperor left him dead and the Emperor mortally wounded.
- Ezekyle Abaddon, AKA Abaddon the Despoiler, Warmaster of Chaos, the only being in the galaxy who can get all the Chaos gods to (temporarily) halt their perpetual Enemy Civil War and unite under one banner, and the only one with his own mark of chaos other than the the gods themselves. By all rights he should have ascended to Daemonhood ages ago, but he retains his mortal form out of sheer will, because rampaging in the material realm is too much fun.
- Aberrant-bloodline sorcerers in Pathfinder eventually become these. Then there are the incredibly creepy Shining Children of Thassilon.
- The Excrucians in Nobilis generally manifest as creepily pretty humans as part of their "always beautiful" shtick. This does not make them good, and no matter how human an Excrucian seems, they are still invaders from the Primordial Chaos outside reality. To be fair, they do have one bit of Glamour Failure - their eyes appear as the night sky, and the stars are falling.
- Over in Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine, there's the Best Friend and Billy Sovereign, who have ties to the Actuals of Nobilis. Billy is a pure example, but the Best Friend has actually gained a soul, which the Actuals are usually incapable of doing. Chuubo's also has Excrucians, under the name Riders, but they don't have as much world-ending horrible doom power, and all of them are at least to a degree playable out of the corebook.
- Magic: The Gathering: While most pre-Mending planeswalkers were at the very least potential recruits, the post-Mending setting has given us Ashiok, Nightmare Weaver - a planeswalker who is gradually transcending humanity and becoming something else. The fact that the top of...its head is in fact black fog is what we call a "warning sign" in these parts.
- Agonistes from the Tortured Souls line, who appears as a tall, powerfully-built man dressed in black leather and chains, his face horribly scarred and mutilated into a permanent Slasher Smile (if that sounds familiar, it should - the toy line was created by Clive Barker). Hand-made by an insane God on the seventh day of Creation, he answers the prayers of those who seek revenge on their enemies, remaking their bodies and transforming them into living weapons. While he isn't malicious (he only transforms people who come to him willingly), he's still beyond human morality - all he cares about is the "art" he can create with his supplicants.
- Most Final Fantasy Big Bads pass through this at some stage of their life cycle. They almost all pass out of it later when powering up, advancing to more conventional abominations, of course, but the intermediate stages still qualify.
- Exdeath is actually an aggregate of evil souls trapped in a tree, but spends most of the game as a humanoid suit of armor. How he managed to fit a classic Eldritch Abomination appearance like his into a suit of armor small and human enough to deceive people isn't known, but he is a wizard.
- Jenova is a planet-eating alien parasite with the in-series nickname "Calamity from the Skies", but in all of its appearances barring boss fights it takes the form of either a naked female entity with grey skin, white hair, and a whole lot of Body Horror issues, or that of the main antagonist Sephiroth, who himself was infused with Jenova's cells as a fetus and later merges with it and attempts to become its successor.
- Ultimecia managed to destroy time itself but still exists quite comfortably and is a Sorceress, something not quite human but looking the same, until the final boss fight; she loses the "humanoid" part when she shifts from "break the universe" mode into "break the skulls of the impudent mortals before me" mode.
- Yu Yevon was once human, but turned into a jellyfish-summon-disease-thing using the only powers available to him as a human and instead simply wears an actual Eldritch Abomination as a suit of armour. He counted back in the day when he made the first Sin, though, and might have counted longer depending. We don't really know the how or why of his current blobby appearance, so it might have been a gradual thing.
- Yunalesca, appearing as an attractive woman in impractical clothes until the real fight begins, yet simultaneously being an Unsent who has gone on that way a lot longer than any of the fiends you encounter under normal conditions.
- Vayne Solidor started out as an ordinary Hume, albeit one who knew kung fu. Then the godlike Occuria Venat, out of gratitude for Vayne's help in fulfilling her Evil Plan, merged with him so that he would not face death alone. This fusion became The Undying, a humanoid monstrosity with pieces of Vayne's sky fortress attached to it that gave it the appearance of a mecha-angel.
- Kingdom Hearts:
- Organization XIII from Kingdom Hearts II. Like the rest of their Nobody brethren, their semi-existence is so unnatural, so deeply wrong that even the darkness rejects them. Unlike the others, however, they look exactly like humans with odd powers, but in reality are just stretchy rag dolls. Mention is made that the ranked Organization members could be "demoted" to regular Nobodies. And oddly enough, being a Nobody is only a temporary affliction. Who knew that souls can regenerate?
- The regular Nobodies, the aforementioned "stretchy rag dolls", have a sufficiently humanoid appearance to warrant this trope as well.
- Then there's Xion, who is an honorary member of Organization XIII despite actually being a Replica, not a Nobody.
- The prequel has Vanitas, a being made from another character's Darkness and is the original Unversed and origin of every Unversed you fight in the game.
- While in most cases, Heartless become larger and more monstrous the more powerful they are, in the case of people with the mightiest of Darkness in their Hearts who become Heartless, they retain their original form and mind. So far, only Xehanort, possibly Shan Yu, and Scar have managed this.note
- Shin Megami Tensei: Persona:
- All four games have Igor, who barring the colossal nose looks for the most part like a rather ugly human being. In actuality, he is a powerful entity that presides over the Velvet Room, a mysterious place "between dream and reality, mind and matter". Even more fitting are his servants from 3 and 4, the Velvet Room Siblings Elizabeth, Theodore, and Margaret. They fit the trope even better than Igor does, looking perfectly human with their yellow eyes being the only hint of their brain-breaking true natures.
- Persona has Nyarlatothep taking the form of Jun's father in Innocent Sin, and of Tatsuya himself in Eternal Punishment.
- In Persona 3, the Death Arcana itself is revealed to have somewhat unwittingly taken on a human form: firstly the Creepy Child Pharos, who then transforms himself and unknowingly becomes your new classmate Ryoji Mochizuki.
- In the Shin Megami Tensei series, Alice, the recurring Elegant Gothic Lolita, who looks so human she has been often mistaken for an innocent, normal girl. She's actually something far worse than the series' standard Fiends and Undead. In Devil Survivor 2, her Racial Skill is Unearthly Form.
- Lucifer also counts, often disguising himself in a humanoid form to converse with the hero. Taken Up to Eleven in Shin Megami Tensei IV in which his true form actually is a bald, gangly humanoid, contrasting with his 'corrupted seraph' appearances prior.
- ADOM has several. Certainly there's Nuurag-Vaarn, the Chaos Archmage, who is the penultimate Boss Fight for the normal ending. He appears as a withered old man whose eyes are holes radiating such unbearable light of power you can barely catch a glimpse of the tentacles writhing in them. (Well, actually he appears as a "@" but this is what the description says.)
- Heretic and Hexen:
- Heretic: Aside from the fact that we never see his face, or body for that matter, there's nothing visibly inhuman about D'Sparil's appearance, even though he's a demon that slipped in through a hole in the walls of the cosmos from the outside. He makes up for this by riding a humanoid serpent with an appropriately eldritch appearance.
- The Heresiarch from Hexen, a near-unique boss creature, is an immensely powerful magic-using humanoid creature of some sort. Most of its appearance is hidden inside its robes, like D'Sparil's, but claws and a tail can be seen at the bottom. It's a leader of the cult of the Serpent Riders, but there isn't really much of an indication what it actually is, aside from something eldritch and unnatural.
- Lavos from Chrono Trigger. At its core, beyond all its protective layers, it resembles nothing more than a (comparatively) small humanoid alien astronaut. That is also its most hideously powerful form, whose mere presence distorts time and space. And it's not even Lavos's real body anyways.
- In League of Legends, we have Kassadin and Malzahar. Both have been touched by the Void, an extradimensional space where Lovecraftian creatures lurk. Both wield Void magics, but with very different goals. Whether anything human actually remains of them is debatable.
- The GMan of Half-Life... Maybe. To be certain, he's dead center in the unnerving category, has scarily thorough, though unknown amounts of knowledge of the protagonist and events, and displays powers that are magnitudes beyond anything else in the series (it required the entire Vortigaunt race working together just to stall him, and even that didn't last long). And he says he reports to a higher power. There's a good reason a lot of fans compare him to Nyarlathotep.
- As of Sengoku Basara 3, Oichi is, if not one outright, at least on her way to becoming one. She's been robbed of the last shred of her sanity, seeing the world through a bizarre, alien dream logic, and is simultaneously the master and puppet of the dark powers she showed in the previous game. She gets better in some of her endings.
- Deadly Premonition has Forrest Kaysen, who is revealed to be a dimension-warping abomination. He certainly isn't as indestructible as the average Humanoid Abomination though, as Francis Zach Morgan is able to dismissively murder the son of a bitch with a well placed bullet to the brain.
- In Castlevania, we have Dracula himself. Far more than just a vampire, he is revealed in Dawn of Sorrow to be a fundamental force of the universe necessary for maintaining the Balance Between Good and Evil, and his role is literally to be the opposite of God.
- In Alan Wake there is Jagger, who appears to be human, but as the manuscript says is completely alien in all ways besides appearance, and even then it's a full Eldritch Abomination using a human body as a disguise. In the sequel, there's Mr. Scratch, who exists as a spawn of the darkness and takes the form of Alan himself.
- The Outer Space Beings from the Sin and Punishment series are from outside the universe as we know it, have strange and immense powers, have blood that can grant people special powers, are implied to be the source of many of the bizarre lifeforms found in the series... and can look perfectly human. The fluff reveals they can look like anything they want. And Achi, Big Bad of the first game, shapeshifts into a planet for the final boss fight.
- Dishonored has the Outsider, an... entity that seems to have existed throughout the whole of recorded history - and before. You'd mistake him for a handsome young man in plain clothing were it not for his totally black eyeballs, his tendency to be wreathed in shadow, and that he seems to enjoy hovering a foot or so off the ground. His hobbies include speaking with polite bemusement about mortal affairs, entering people's dreams to inspire bizarre inventions, branding those he deems "interesting" with his mark to grant them really weird powers, being alternately worshipped as a god and vilified as a Satanic figure, and hanging out in a realm called The Void which may or may not be slowly consuming reality as its inhabitants know it. Anecdotal evidence suggests that he may be using A Form You Are Comfortable With, and he's actually a Space Whale... which in the Dishonored universe, means he's pretty Lovecraftian in his appearance (though far from Go Mad from the Revelation levels).
- Nightmare from the Soul Series, specifically his incarnation in Soul Calibur III and Soul Calibur IV, in which he is an empty suit of armour animated by the will of a BFS-turned-Eldritch Abomination called Soul Edge, which seeks to devour all life in existence - and is described in IV as having become an extension of the sword itself. His other appearances are a result of Soul Edge possessing and corrupting the humans who pick it up.
- OFF, depending on the Alternate Ending you pick. It helps that the thing's on the very edge between this and a full-blown eldritch in appearance, and that from your perspective, it had you fooled the entire time.
- Dark Samus, the main antagonist of the Metroid Prime trilogy, resembles a black, biomechanical version of Samus Aran. "She" began as the titular Metroid Prime, a Metroid mutated by prolonged exposure to Phazon and prophesied by the Chozo as the Worm. Following Metroid Prime's defeat at the hands of Samus, it merged with her Phazon Suit and came back as a twisted doppelganger bent on spreading Phazon throughout the universe and even other dimensions, and was unkillable as long as Phazon existed.
- Amnesia: The Dark Descent: The Big Bad, Baron Alexander von Brennenburg, is eventually revealed to be a being from another universe that got exiled into our own. He takes a human form to fit in with our society, but as the game goes on it's clear he is something else. Looking at a portrait of him while low on sanity transforms his face into a horrific corpse-like visage, which is believed by some to be a glimpse at his true form.
- Flemeth, the Witch of the Wilds from Dragon Age. It's not yet clear what she is, but she unnerves everybody. Her own daughter Morrigan eventually discovers that Flemeth is no mere demon-possessed mage or Blood Mage, but something worse. Fenris claims that he's met demons, blood mages, and abominations, but he can tell that Flemeth isn't any of those things. Even Justice, a Fade Spirit, has no idea what she is. The only thing certain about her is that she is dangerous. Very dangerous. Also very powerful - her introduction in the second game is showing up as a dragon and saving your life, and she regards her own death as a minor event, not even an inconvenience. Dragon Age: Inquisition reveals that she is possessed, not by a demon but by Mythal, the elven goddess of love and justice.
- Kingdoms Of Amalur Reckoning: You. Fateweavers treat you like a walking Physical God and the Tuatha refer to you as an abomination. One NPC even has a freak out watching your power work, although to be fair he just watched you rip out an enemy's fate then use it as a weapon.
- First Encounter Assault Recon:
- Alma evolves from a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl to full-blown world-threatening reality-breaking abomination, yet keeps her somewhat human appearance.
- The Creep in the third game: though humanoid, it is far more monstrous and aggressive than Alma. It eventually turns out that it is an amalgam of the worst memories Fettel, the Point Man, and Alma have of Harlan Wade, given life by Alma's psychic powers.
- In Drakengard 3, the Intoners all look human and are anything but. Zero is the only Intoner who is even remotely a true human and the flower in her eye is changing her into something else. The others are all nascent Grotesquerie Queens who copied the forms of Zero's fellow adventurers when they were born.
- Dark Souls: After the death of Manus, the Father of the Abyss, his soul shattered. The remains of the monster itself became the Dark Chasm of Old, and the splinters of its soul formed humanoid bodies intent on recreating Manus. The tiniest of these fragments became Nashandra, queen of Drangleic. Other scattered pieces, all of them wearing human or at least humanoid bodies, are the Darklurker in the Dark Chasm of Old, Elana the Squalid Queen in Shulva, Nadalia, the Bride of Ash in Brume Tower, and Alsanna, the Silent Oracle of Eleum Loyce.
- Alex Mercer, from Prototype, can change his shape at will, be it into other humans or various weaponized appendages. He doesn't necessarily have a true form because he is actually the BLACKLIGHT virus that infected the real Mercer's dead body and assumed it's shape and memories, fooling itself into thinking that it actually was Alex Mercer. Technically it is a dense, writhing biomass that chooses to look like a human being for the sake of blending in but could, theoretically, take on any shape it desired.
- Fate/stay night gives us Matou Zouken, who is somewhere between The Worm That Walks and this trope.
- Fate/hollow ataraxia has Avenger whose apparently human body is a fake, his true form being a human-shaped emptiness.
- Tsukihime introduces the 27 Dead Apostle Ancestors and the True Ancestors:
- The Dead Apostle Ancestors were once humans (most of them, anyway), who became vampires under various circumstances and, with age and possibly self-made modifications, obtained immense and alien powers (Nrvnqsr Chaos, the first one we see, is a living mass of chaotic matter analogous to a primordial soup, created from the accumulation of the lives of 666 creatures). Of the four that weren't once human, three are generic Eldritch Abomination (they are a living forest corrupted by the incorrectly disposed body of a Dead Apostle Ancestor, the Ultimate Lifeform of Mercury (and essentially the planet Mercury itself) in the form of a Kaiju and a killer of human beings created by the World's own will in the form of a giant dog), but the last one, Brunestud of the Crimson Moon, is the same kind of being as the Kaiju from Mercury, only from the Moon and with a human form.
- The True Ancestors are clones of Brunestud (and thus vampires themselves) created by the World to stop the corruption humans were causing, and, thankfully, much less powerful (even if they can casually manipulate natural fenomenon), with a growing part of their power being employed to suppress their bloodlust. Due a series of circumstances, only Arcueid still lives. As you can see◊, she doesn't look any strange... But, as the most powerful of the True Ancestors and the closest thing Earth has to an Ultimate Lifeform, she could casually wipe out all life of Earth.
- Melty Blood's Tatari usually takes the form of a resident of the city it is in, but it's actually a phenomenon made up of rumours that randomly appears to suck the blood out of entire towns. He's also a Dead Apostle Ancestor.
- Lovecraft Is Missing, naturally. Dr. Kartophilus' freaky butler, Heeg, is the most obvious, though most likely he's "only" a shoggoth in human form. There's also Young Tom Malone, who raised all sorts of questions which, probably for the best, are likely to go unanswered.
- Rithuly from Sluggy Freelance, a vaguely defined "dark god" with strong Eldritch Abomination vibes: his "true form is of a great flying Stygian dragon" but he "usually appears man-sized, either as a wispy tentacle-headed dark ghost or a charming handsome man in a white robe adorned with jewelry."
- Gunnerkrigg Court: A look into her past reveals that Jones qualifies. Her existence predates life on Earth by at least a few billion years, but she has always looked the same. She has a perfect memory for every instant of her entire history, scratches diamonds, and is impenetrable to x-rays. She claims to lack emotions or imagination; though Antimony has her doubts on this matter, it might just be projection on her (and the readership's) part. Oh, and she has no idea what she is, either. MYSTERY SOLVED!
- Ow, my sanity has tons of these from the Cthulhu Mythos, many of which are female. The kicker? They're the protagonist's Unwanted Harem.
- Issue #3 of the furry comic The Order Of The Black Dog has Mal-Fa'asha the vermin lord, who looks like a oddly generic furry wearing a black cloak, when he's not appearing as a swarm of moths. And that black cat in the black suit and hat who was asking about Rhoda's art. He could be Nyarlathotep.
- White Dark Life has a specific demon that fits this category in her true form. That demon is Artemis Astarte. Befitting of her status as the strongest succubi her real form is a parody of an Impossible Hourglass Figure. This meaning that she has nothing but her spine and ribs between her chest and hips. The rest of her is just as unpleasant.
- The Slender Man, pictured above. You can just about mistake him for a human being at a distance (unless he's in full-on Combat Tentacles mode), but come any closer and you start to... notice things. Marble Hornets, one of the most famous Slendy stories, is an excellent portrayal of this trope. The Slender Man distorts reality just by existing, driving some characters into homicidal madness. He seems to have a goal of some sort, but whatever it is, it's utterly inscrutable.
- Another well-known creepypasta creation, The Rake, also counts. A freakish hairless dog-man who seems to have similar stalking habits to Slenderman, albeit being more direct with his victimsnote . Has even showed up in Everyman HYBRID, integrating it into the above mythos.
- The Slender Man and the Rake are joined by a number of other Humanoid Abominations in The Fear Mythos, including the Cold Boy, the Wooden Girl, and the Blind Man.
- The SCP Foundation has absolutely every type of abomination, and these are no exception. There's some serious creepy Reality Warpers hanging around there.
- Dr. Clef claims to be one himself: he discovered what he was at an early age when an idle thought caused the Challenger disaster. He then devoted his life to putting the kibosh on those more selfishly inclined than he. This is still Clef, though, so take it as you will...
- Creepy Child SCP-053 looks and acts like an ordinary three year old girl. She's not. Let's put it this way: SCP-682, an alien reptilian Omnicidal Maniac that hates everything in this universe on principle, likes SCP-053, and the feeling is mutual — once SCP-053 got past her initial fear of the giant terrifying reptiloid. (It's kind of adorable, actually.)
- SCP-106 is an entity that resembles a decomposing old man that corrodes everything it touches and has its own Pocket Dimension that it lords over.
- SCP-096 is a tall skinny being with disproportionately long arms and enters an Unstoppable Rage and screams like a human when someone looks at its face, regardless of how indirect the method is, and will proceed to kill and [DATA EXPUNGED] that person leaving no trace of them.
- Along the lines of the Slender Man, SCP-582 appears and acts out his part in any stories written about him.
- The world accessible via SCP-093 is populated by skyscraper-sized zombies with stretching arms and no faces. And yes, they were once people.
- Whateley Universe:
- Sara Waite, codename Carmilla. She looks like a goddess of lust. Her father's mother is actually Shub-Niggurath. Her mother's ancestry is even creepier.
- Tennyo is somehow related to some Eldritch Abomination that was created to eat/destroy the Eldritch Abominations of the Cthulhu Mythos, something that would look at Cthulhu and think "ooh, an appetizer!"
- Atop the Fourth Wall: The Entity/Missingno can apparently only manifest itself in the physical realm by taking the form of another.
- The Onion spoofed this in the 2005 article "Neverland Ranch Investigators Discover Corpse of Real Michael Jackson". Apparently Michael Jackson died sometime in 1985-1987 at the hands of one of these, and that abomination replaced it and went on to physically decay into the realm of Body Horror and prey upon children. (At the time, in Real Life, Jackson was being tried on child molestation charges.)
- In Worm, Scion, the world's first and greatest superhero, is the avatar of an immensely powerful and ancient alien entity.
- The Simurgh looks like a fifteen-foot-tall woman with chalk-white skin and a multitude of feathery wings. She is also an Endbringer, a nearly indestructible entity of unknown origin equipped with horribly destructive superpowers that apparently wants nothing less than to wipe humanity from the earth. Her particular set of powers includes pre- and postcognition to the point of being The Omniscient, as well as Mind over Matter and some very nasty Mind Rape powers.
- Popo from Dragon Ball Z Abridged terrifies the protagonists, attempting to contact him psychically caused King Kai to short out, and is implied to be vastly more powerful than anyone in the series. He reveals a glimpse of his true nature as he eats Garlic Jr.
- Eclipse heavily indicates that Alice Sitchri, the main character, is far from your typical Succubus. She's a tall, fit, and gorgeous young lady with pale skin and a sexy outfit, but she has tendrils protruding from her arms, smoke-like darkness that oozes out of her body at various times, Hellish Pupils, gray eyes that turn amber (when indoctrinating people) and red (when angry), and the ability to transform into a tornado-like whirlpool of smoke and shadows that engulfs an entire country in a black fog. She absorbs souls within her own body (itself a Pocket Dimension), and she has the ability to indoctrinate people without needing to try. Various characters have suggested that this is the form she ALLOWS other people perceive of her, the form she's attempting to keep as humanoid as possible, or a form that is a self-imposed restraint keeping something even more abstract from popping out. She is the only distinctly human-ish being who doesn't utilize a Battle Aura at all; rather than being a human who has a really fancy way of manifesting her innate energy in fantastical ways (ala Aura), Alice simply doesn't. All of the shadows and smoke and darkness are not a manifestation of her energy, that's simply how she is, and as long as there is darkness, she will continue existing, even if that darkness is completely separate from her body. This is all while she's on her good side; lord help you if you ever experience her ability to distort reality at her own whim.
- Generator Rex: Van Kleiss looks like a man with a mechanical hand, but in truth while he Was Once a Man the seat of his consciousness now is the nanites that fill his body - and the area around his stronghold, meaning that in a sense the entire country of Abysus is him, and answers to his commands. As of episode 21, instead of a Genius Loci, he can now induce Body Horror with a touch.
- Miss Bitters from Invader Zim. Nobody is exactly sure what she is, but human is not on the list of options. She is implied to be older than the School (they couldn't make her move so they built it around her and made her a teacher) and has taught at least two generations worth of students. The official website mentions rumors that she is the spawn of an English teacher and a really big snake. Her flashbacks in the series indicate she was once much happier...
- Wall-Mart, a "fictional" chain store in the South Park episode "Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes". Wall-Mart is actually portrayed as a complete Eldritch Abomination in the episode, being an abstract entity from beyond that exists as long as there is consumerism and poisons every town in which it manifests itself. Near the end of the episode however, it temporarily takes on human form (looking a lot like Vincent Price, oddly enough) so it can talk to Stan and Kyle. Played for laughs at the climax with the Vincent Price-thing laughing maniacally and declaring "Now you shall see me as I truly am!" - but all he does is tear off his gray mustache, then take off his white hat and wave it around wildly as the store around them collapses like a cave-in at a mine shaft.
- In Celebrity Deathmatch, the Super Freaks. More like scientific abominations, actually, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin created these creatures out of the DNA of previous fighters using gene splicing and cloning techniques. (As far as this trope goes, they're actually rather tame, and played for laughs.)
- In The Legend of Korra season two, Vaatu, spirit of darkness, fuses with Unalaq, becoming the Dark Avatar. By extension this makes the Avatar an example, as they fused with Vaatu's counterpart Raava, spirit of light.
- The Beast from Over the Garden Wall; although he's never shown outside of shadows, he is vaguely humaoid save for the antlers and glowing eyes.